Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Today's Column


You can like something, or not like it

Or you can be open

You can talk about good and evil

Or you can be open

You can talk about excitement versus fear

Or you can be open

You can have stage fright or be a performer

Or you can be open

You can have anxiety or bliss

Or you can be open

If this comes up or that comes up

And you can be interested

You can be open…

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today's Column

The eye slowly reopens
The door was never closed!
Why did I start to do this?

For love of the wounded parent,
Who took it on before,
What cannot be harmed,
Cannot be divided,
Took on the role of
What is rejected,
Until it stopped…

It’s right where I left it.
I pick it up, and move on.


Arupa will be opening a new website shortly

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Today's Column

as i watch
the hands
the cup of tea
space observing space
exaggerated objectification
inevitably resolves
the “problem
self” as 3rd person
implodes in
that small samadhi
and ecstasy ensues
the compassion of the One
for the "many"
is the bedrock of "aha."


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Today's Column

Toil and Trouble

When we ask why we act as if we are separate creatures, with only this life to live, we must refer back to the basic question: who am I?

If the answer is That, then there are two corollaries.

1. It is actually That which is acting this way. There is nothing else.

2. It is normal and unalarming for That to act this way.

Since That manifests itself over and over as these beings acting this way, trying not to act in the way That has manifested itself is absurd.

Each instance of That in the world experiences awareness from behind the screen of a biological body that has evolved with the necessity of protecting itself first and asking questions later. In the wild this protective stress ramps up quickly and then disappears, either by escaping, or being eaten. In “civilized” society the stress ramps up and just stays there, because there is no way for the body that has not yet returned to awakening to understand that the constant danger it perceives cannot really harm it.

The average person in the modern world is trapped from the cradle to the grave in a matrix in which he or she is simply cattle for the rich and powerful and we all know it. The stress is chronic and it hurts, but chronic pain that can’t be avoided is denied, because until awakening begins to return no one feels they can do anything about it. Denying that stress simply layers more armor around the heart and the true knowledge that it is opening up to that pain and experiencing which will frees us remains hidden. The wonder is, as those who return to awakening begin to understand, not even this constant suffering can bring any harm to That.

The only way to return to awakening is the way that we return: by gradually returning, as That remembers Itself. The biological being that is experiencing stress is a construct, a part That is playing, and whether That is “conscious” of the drama is of no consequence. There is no effort the biological being can make that will speed up, or slow down, the returning: it has no such powers. Practice and bhakti are indications that the return is proceeding, not ways and means to speed it up or gain merit. There is no merit to be gained, as each being is always already that Perfect One. A delicate balance has been tipped when we “provisionally” begin to act “as if” this were truly the case.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Today's Column

Non-duality is Not Mysticism

Non-duality is not mysticism. Ordinary life and the illusion of separateness is mysticism.

The idea of separateness is the most remarkable manifestation of the undivided.

But where else can completeness move except toward partiality?

Where else can perfection move except toward separateness?

All of these “problems” are the way that perfection supports the radical notion of separateness. Without them, separateness collapses. “I” is the difficulties, not the triumphs, the struggle, not the relief.

Samadhi – bliss – is the snapping back of the rubber band of separateness when the illusion collapses. Awakening comes when the realization opens that things were this way all the time. It is not an experience. Experience is what props up the illusion, including the experience of bliss. Awakening is not something gained, but something given up, or even lost. What is left when the frantic search finally stops? Peace. Peace with the way things are. Loving what is, even the warts. Whose face are they on?

Thou art that.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Today's Column


Clearly, the legend of Atlantis is parallel to the legend of the Garden of Eden, the Elysian Fields, etc. They all refer to what is “generically” looked at as the fallacy of the Golden Age, the time of innocence, before Lethé was drunk and we all became the miserable creatures we are now. Well — a lot of us are miserable creatures, and many of us treat others miserably, especially those who run things. But a lot of us don’t think of ourselves as miserable creatures, and when someone starts talking about realization and awakening, many people could care less. So fine. My teacher says, “Don’t worry about your happy illusions. Worry about your sad illusions. Or your anxious illusions.”

In Joan Tolifson’s “Awake in the Heartland” the phantom Guru, Jed McKenna, is quoted as saying, “Enlightenment is nothing. Delusion is the wonder.” In the same book Chogyam Trungpa is referred to as having said that enlightenment is the biggest disappointment that exists. Well, sure. It’s the end of pretend. The big question may not be, “Who am I?” but “Why is there illusion?” Is there a “who” to whom illusion is being presented as a game? If it’s all One, how does that work? If there is no personal “I” who is being fooled?”
I Am That. Thou Art That. All of This is That. That is impersonal. “I” disappears into it. There can be no harm because there is nothing that can be harmed: there is no-thing. So where does the compassion come from that blossoms forth when one of us goofy, deluded creatures finally sees? If the point is that I take my own hand out of the fire because it hurts then why start? Why do it again?Innocence.

It blossoms again and again. It has no previous knowledge. Materialization – manifestation – just happens, and when it does, some say tomato, and some say to-mah-to. It just happens. There is no name that is correct, no right or wrong way to do it, but there are always disagreements. And agreements. These are small things. Life doesn’t mind. Life is what is aware. Awareness is the latent potential that pops out of no-where, no-thing, and that is who – what? – is typing this (and making errors on the keyboard, going back, fixing them, going forward). The vital datum it keeps mislaying is that opposites and contradictions stand out, but the fulcrum under the teeter totter is in shadow, and you forget it’s there. It’s neither this nor that. It doesn’t stand out. It produces no feelings. The only time you get a rush is when you suddenly remember it’s there, and that’s just the rubber band you’ve been stretching with your existential angst for the last twenty years snapping back. Oh. That’s called Samadhi.But awakening is always already aware. Like you. Here. Now.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today's Column

What To Do?

So, what do I do now? Make an announcement? Issue a challenge? To who? Why not?

February 28, 2010 I met a man named Michael Walsh. He said that one way to remember who you always were was to “let go of the rope that’s dragging you through the shit.” That struck home. It was, in a funny way, very much like the impact of “Loving What Is.” I questioned him about it, said that it really appealed to me because it wasn’t about doing something, but about not doing something. He agreed. I acknowledged it was me that had to “do” it – let go. He agreed. And I did.

It’s taken a while to skid to a halt, to let all that crap that was rooster-tailing up around me to settle down. And it has. This is it.

No there, no that, no then. Just this. Tathata. Suchness.

Should I tell people? Should I make an announcement? I guess I am. There's no way to prove it. Most people wouldn’t see any difference. There is no difference. It always was this way. I’ve just stopped pretending. What’s the point?

Michael’s e-mail a few days later: samadhi is an extreme. Good point. Suchness just is. Samadhi is like a rubber band letting go after you’ve been pulling it back all your life. The snap back is quite a ride. Then it’s over. If it just went on like that you’d starve. Ramana almost did several times. His devotees had to force feed him. It would have been okay if he did starve. When he was dying his devotees asked him not to leave them, and he said, “Where would I go?”

Yesterday I had a strong realization that it is the emptiness that is alive.

Well, that explains a lot.